More troops deployed in Ladakh

More troops deployed in Ladakh

S. Sivadas

S. Sivadas

Over three weeks after fresh escalation of tension between Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh, both sides have added additional troops at two locations — Galwan and north bank of Pangong Tso, some 110 km away from each other.

Eastern Ladakh shares a 826-km frontier with China. Galwan and north bank areas are usually patrolled and are at an altitude in excess of 14,000 feet.

The cause of the recent flare-up is said to be the two roads that India has built in recent past and China is said to be at a disadvantage at both the spots.

At Galwan, China does not have a road on its side and has amassed an estimated 800 troops. At the north bank of Pangong, China is objecting to a road made by India between one of the eight mountain spurs that end at the lake. In Galwan, the 255-km Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DS-DBO) section of the road between Leh and Karakoram Pass was completed last year and China has an issue with its alignment despite the road passing totally in Indian territory.

At the north bank of Pangong Tso, the two sides clashed on the intervening night of May 5/6. Pangong Tso, a 135-km glacial melt lake, straddles India and China at an altitude of 13,000 feet. Indian troops are at a location that it perceives as its territory along the disputed Line of Actual Control.

The People’s Liberation Army of China disputes Indian claims at this particular location and their troops are stationed just across this claim line on what is their side.

Meanwhile in Kathmandu the Nepal Prime Minister, Mr. KP Sharma Oli, on Tuesday asserted that Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura belong to Nepal and vowed to 'reclaim' them from India through political and diplomatic efforts, as his Cabinet endorsed a new political map showing the three areas as Nepalese territory.

Addressing Parliament, Mr. Oli said the territories belong to Nepal 'but India has made it a disputed area by keeping its Army there. Nepalis were blocked from going there after India stationed its Army.'